The trajectory of the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio is proof that talent – and the God-given aptitude towards funk – will out. A soul-jazz three piece rooted in the earthy sound of the Hammond organ, the group’s 2016 debut album ‘Close But No Cigar’ became a word of mouth success, propelled forwards by their incendiary live shows.
‘I Told You So’ is the official follow up – though 2018’s ‘Live At KEXP!’ set is also highly recommended – and it finds the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio settling back down into studio life. That said, theres’s a concert-ready freshness dappled across each of these monstrous soul jazz workouts.
The band’s down at home feeling propels ‘Fo Sho’ forwards, something fans might have experienced on seven inch vinyl last year, paired alongside a bruising, timely take on Marvin Gaye’s protest plea ‘Inner City Blues’.
Comparisons to The Meters’ New Orleans brew or Booker T and the MGs’ Southern strut are definitely worth making, but what’s evident on ‘I Told You So’ is the group’s lyrical depth. ‘Hole In One’ is a deft, immediate opener, crisp in its funky execution, but tracks such as ‘Call Your Mom’ and ‘Aces’ certainly have a melodic side.
Indeed, this impetus in the group’s work comes out in – of all things – a George Michael cover, with the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio getting to grips with the immortal ‘Careless Whisper’. Played entirely straight, it sits in the lineage of those Jimmy Smith or Billy Preston organ jams, and it’s one of the album’s more straight-forwardly melodic endeavours.
Succinct and ultra-tight, ‘I Told You So’ clocks in at nine tracks, yet its breathless manouevres move from post-bop phrasing through to 80s stadium pop, somehow tying them all together with the effectiveness of their mission. A record that gets under your skin, the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio are well worth tracking down. Simply stick this on at home, and think: Clash told you so.
Words: Robin Murray
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